Our Q & A series intends to gather and share insight from leading industry experts. This week, we are lucky enough to have the owner of Keep Fit Gym in Matakana Justin Fokkema with us.


Justin Fokkema owner of Keep Fit Matakana (photo credit Local Matters ‘Mahurangi Young Entrepreneurs’)

Let’s kick off by telling us a bit about yourself and the business you’re in.
I’ve always loved sport. I started playing football at school and coached younger kids in gymnastics and football while studying in Holland at a top sports college. While living in Auckland, I started focusing more on my training & decided to study to be a PT alongside my work in hospitality. I managed to work in both industries side by side for a while & was offered the opportunity to buy into Fitness Hub in Snells Beach. From there, the idea of Keep Fit began & led me to where I am today.

How did Keep Fit Matakana start, was it straightforward, or did it take time?
I have always talked about how Matakana needed a gym, and when I saw the lease for the building, I went for it. I was already a co-owner at the Fitness Hub in Snells Beach, and it gave me the confidence to take this on. Once the lease was confirmed, I was on the hunt for equipment. It took a few months for everything to arrive with all the Covid delays, but long story short, it took about 5-6 months from finding the building to the opening date.

Keep Fit is a new fitness facility based in the Matakana Village. The goal at Keep Fit is to help improve member’s lifestyles not only physical fitness.

What are common issues you see your clients dealing with, and how do you help them overcome this?
Motivation, workout intensity, and overall training. Most of my clients just need to be pushed a little harder and mix up their training to make it a bit more fun and interesting. Another big thing is guidance. Many clients are unsure of where to start or what direction to take their training, so a big thing for me is to help them identify their goals & work towards those in a way that also helps them build confidence to use the gym without me there.

What are some tips you can give us for how you best navigate these turbulent times of lockdowns and the wider pandemic?
I find the easiest way to deal with any stress or issue is to focus/work on the things you can control & don’t worry about the things you can’t.

What does your morning routine look like?
5.30 am wake up, drink coffee asap.
Prepare breakfast and lunch boxes for the kids and I. Quickly shower. Get the kids and me dressed. Make coffee for my wife and bring her daily vitamins (Can you tell she’s not a morning person 🤣). Then off to work at 6.40 am.

What’s your favourite way to train at the moment?
Heavy strength training 5-6 days a week plus football twice a week.

When you’re not training or working on the business, what’s your favourite way to spend time?
Little dates with my wife Alana or spending time together as a family.

Can you give one word of advice to someone that is looking to increase their overall health and fitness?

How has Covid affected your business, and what are you doing to get around the current restrictions?
Membership cancellations & fewer sign-ups during these uncertain times. It’s been challenging to offer everyone a fitness facility & it’s sad we have all these restrictions. As a result, we’ve started offering more outdoor classes to accommodate everyone in multiple locations.

And let’s finish on a high, what is something you’re most proud of or your greatest achievement?
Being my own boss & doing something I love! As a result, I have more time for my family 🥰

Follow Justin and the Keep Fit team @keepfitmatakanagym for session times, online workouts, recipes, events, and much more.